Senior Providers Network Family Caregiver Round Up

Family CaregiverFamily caregivers received a lot of attention here on our blog at the end of 2017. If you are a family caregiver, will be one, or an employer who needs to provide resources for finding or becoming a family caregiver, this article is for you.

We started the family caregiver content frenzy by highlighting them for Family Caregivers Month in November. One of our goals is to promote the value of 24-hour care among employers and their employees. So let’s begin there.

Value 24-Hour Home Care

Caring for an elderly family member is not a part-time responsibility. Imagine trying to moonlight as a live-in caregiver, while simultaneously working at a full-time job. That’s a tall order! The time factor alone should be enough to convince one of the immense value of a 24-hour family caregiver.

Look at these alarming statistics (1) from our article “Why Elder Care Services In Your Employee Benefits Are Necessary”:

5 million Americans informally care for an elderly loved one

  • Average lost income for an informal caregiver is $303,880
  • 57% report they have no choice but to perform clinical tasks
  • 40% are in high-burden situations (21+ hours per week caregiving)
  • 1 in 4 caregivers spend 41+ hours per week caregiving
  • Live-in caregivers spend 40.5 hours per week caregiving

These telling numbers should inspire you to hire and/or provide 24-hour home care for your elderly relative in need.

The Law is on Your Side

We also published content about an important Act that gives favor to employees who are faced with having to care for an elderly relative. FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) was largely designed with the purpose of giving employees up to 12 weeks to care for their own health or for the health of elderly relatives under their supervision. Many people associate FMLA with the time given to care for a newborn, but it is also for those caring for elderly parents or relatives who can’t care for themselves. Whether you’re an employer or an employee, you should educate yourself on this important Act.

How to Become a Paid Family Caregiver

There are several resources available to help with the process of becoming a family caregiver and the financial aspect of job. After all, being a family caregiver is akin to being the CEO of a company.

The first step for becoming a family caregiver is to learn everything you can about the condition of your family member. Next, find out exactly what your relative’s insurance will and will not cover. Then you should officially establish your position as a caregiver for your relative in legal terms through vehicles like an advance directive and health

care proxy and a power of attorney agreement. These items will give you the legal status required to make important medical and financial decisions on your relative’s behalf.

What about the financial aspect of being a family caregiver? We have you covered. Avenues for getting paid as a family caregiver include direct pay from your relative’s savings or some other asset, the Medicaid Cash and Counseling program, payment from your relative’s insurance benefits, and payment from VA benefits. For more assistance on this topic, organizations like the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP) and Family Caregiver Alliance provide excellent information and help to new and experienced family caregivers.

Hiring a Family Caregiver

It’s not possible for everyone to handle all of the responsibilities associated with providing in-home care for a relative. If you need to hire a family caregiver to handle a portion or 100% of the in-home caregiving of your elderly relative, there are some key steps that you need to execute. First, please educate yourself on the liabilities, labor laws, and tax implications involved in hiring a family caregiver directly and not through an agency because you will be considered their employer upon their hiring. Next, interview and fully vet all potential caregivers. Follow up your interviews with background and reference checks. Lastly, we highly recommend going with an in-home placement agency to help with the administrative aspect of hiring a family caregiver.

This is a lot of great information for employees.  If you’re a business owner or someone that works in Human Resources (HR) and would like to learn more about our services, please email us at Senior Providers Network and we would be happy to help you out.caregiving is an employer issue